Members of the 76 teams at the Sun of a Beach volleyball tournament all have different ways of surviving the weekend of bumps, blocks and beer.
As the 27th annual event began on Friday afternoon at the Keystone Centre’s sand-filled Manitoba Room, many teams already had a drink in hand following their first game.
The key to surviving the late-night games after a few hours of partying is to find a good place for a quick pre-game power nap, said Keeghan Kaluziak, a second-year nursing student at Assiniboine Community College.
"We all live in town ... so we get drives, you gotta have one person who’s not drinking," she said over the music as several teams swapped volleys in the concrete room that was flooded with sand.
Anyone looking for some shut-eye on the chairs along the sidelines wouldn’t be judged too harshly, either.
"It doesn’t matter, just take a little nap," she said.
Many want to avoid the 7 a.m. Saturday games at all costs, but Kaluziak said it’s just a matter of showing up.
"We had the 7 a.m. game last year, and the other team didn’t even show up, so you just have to show up and you pretty much win."
While many of the teams take great pride in their costumes, vying for a prize for their garb, it doesn’t mean that lazily dressed teams can’t have a good time during the tourney, which is hosted by the ACC Students’ Association.
Wes Taylor of Wolseley, Sask., and his teammates simply found some blue shirts, tore the sleeves off, called themselves Smurfs and named their team the Brew Balls.
Taylor, a recreational volleyballer, said the only thing he needs to survive the weekend is beer — Coors Banquet his choice beverage.
"You just gotta get it in you," he said.
Other players take a more tamed approach.
"Moderate your drinking and once you're done your games, go hard," said future ACC student Ryan Clark.
Other than a mandatory coat-check charge, which goes to fund the association’s student food bank, the two-day event doesn’t make any money, according to ACCSA project co-ordinator Alicia Zurba.
"The money that we make here pays for the event," she said. "That may change in future years."
This year saw a drop in registration from last year’s 90 teams, a slump Zurba attributes to the different timing of schools’ spring breaks.
"ACC is on their spring break right now and other schools aren’t," she said.
Players from as far away as North Dakota and Saskatchewan come to play in the now-notorious college event.
The event wraps up tonight with a social.